Tips to Help Merchants Successfully Dispute Chargebacks

Nov 27, 2015

Unfortunately, many businesses are unaware that it is indeed possible to win a chargeback dispute. Chargebacks are a silent killer, especially for online businesses. When chargeback prevention fails, merchants must obtain representment into their chargeback management practices.

What is chargeback representment? When a merchant’s credit card transaction is processed for the first time, that sale is “presented” to the bank. Representment, or a chargeback dispute, occurs when the transaction is submitted for a second time. Thus, the representment requests that the bank nullify the chargeback and recharge the cardholder. This is how a merchant can fight a chargeback.

Chargebacks can deeply affect a business’ bottom line. Based on reports by LexisNexis and the U.S. Census Bureau, BI Intelligence, the fraud costs for U.S. merchants in 2014 were over $30 billion. Even more disturbing, it was reported that the average merchant lost 1.32% of revenue to fraud in 2015 – a 94% increase from 2014. It is incredibly important for merchants to not only take the steps necessary to dispute chargebacks, but to also prevent them from happening.  Reducing friendly fraud, improving customer service, using fraud detection tools and implementing business best practices are just some of the ways a merchant can accomplish this.

Another reason for merchants to dispute chargebacks is in regards to the number of chargebacks that occur out of a simple misunderstanding. It is true that some friendly fraudsters set out with the intention to obtain something for free. But there are many cases where consumers are completely unaware of their actions and even accidentally commit fraud. According to a Global Risk Technologies study, 49% of friendly fraud chargebacks were the result of cardholders unknowingly filing chargebacks.

While it can be very difficult to win a chargeback dispute, it is definitely important to try. Chargeback representment improves a business’ bottom line, as long as it is executed properly. To help strengthen your likelihood of winning, consider the following tips:

  • Understand the process. Before you begin the dispute, make sure you thoroughly understand what you are dealing with.


  • Keep accurate records. Without the appropriate records, it is impossible for you to win the dispute.


  • Check the reason. Each card network has its own set of chargeback reason codes that accompany a chargeback. You must first know the reason for the chargeback being filed before you can form your defense.


  • Write your letter. You will need to provide a chargeback rebuttal letter along with your chargeback dispute. Make sure that you fully understand the letter writing process. You might want to reference a chargeback rebuttal letter template (like the one provided by


  • Make your dispute with confidence. Once you are sure that you have covered all of the necessary steps to prevent chargebacks – eliminate merchant error and minimize criminal fraud – you will be able to dispute all chargebacks with complete confidence.


  • Create a chargeback report. A chargeback report helps you detect patterns, strengths, weaknesses, risks and liabilities, making this report the most powerful representment tool available.

Chargeback protection and prevention is so important for merchants, especially for those who conduct the majority or all of their business online. A chargeback insurance provider – like EMB – can help a merchant secure the services they need to protect themselves against all types of chargebacks. Don’t wait until chargebacks start hurting your bottom line, chargeback insurance can protect your business while also preventing future chargeback issues.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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